I was in the same boat as you. I was contemplating selling my Ti4600 for a 9700. Being able to play games at 1600x1200 with FSAA and
aniso was an intriguing proposition to say the least.
But, for the same reasons you mentioned, I will not be making this purchase. I have an Abit KR7A-RAID and more than one person has reported not being able to cold-boot their system with a 9700 installed. Letting the system warm up (so to speak) and hitting the reset button causes the card to work. Huh? Okay, I'm going to shell out $330-$400 for a card that won't work right when I first power on my system after letting it sit overnight.
And I sure as hell am not going to replace my motherboard and potentially my CPU just to get this video card to work. Sorry, ATI, you couldn't convince me with the 8500 and it doesn't look like you'll be doing so with the 9700. Almost had me, though - so close but yet so far. I hope they work with mobo companies and within their company to do some further investigation into these issues.
It will be very, very interesting to see if the NV30 has similar issues. But there's no use speculating right now. Right now my Ti4600 is working wonderfully with all my games and applications and that's the only thing that matters.